The problem with being an emotional writer is that I really only write well when I’m miserable or unhappy. Look at Plath, Hemingway, Bukowski…they all wrote amazing pieces of literature largely in part due to their status as “tortured artists.” I start to wonder now if there really is some truth to the “genius through misfortune” paradigm.
I’ve sat down to write I don’t know how many times in the last month and the words just don’t seem to come out the right way, or they don’t seem to come out at all. I want desperately to write something, anything, but I just keep staring at the screen with this goofy grin on my face, thinking, “Oh well, something will come to me at some point.”
So here we are, over a month since I’ve posted anything substantive on the blog. And I’m the happiest I’ve been in a very long time.
Something has happened to me – another one of those monumental shifts in thought that happen maybe a half-dozen times in your existence. I’ve experienced a course correction, a major curve in my road that isn’t really quite so much a curve as it is a screeching and dust-riling turn to the right, a turn so sharp I might have missed it if I had continued to not pay any attention.
I am different. I have changed. And now that I’m here, I’m not really sure how to even begin to explain how it all happened. The one thing I know for sure is that for the year and a half prior to this change, I wasn’t really happy. I thought I was, I thought I had it together, I thought I had a handle on things. I had a good job, great friends, spent time with family, loved my apartment and the neighborhood I lived in, I traveled. All gravy, right?
That was the external. That was the “things.” Inside, I was an emotional wreck. I never really was able to explain that part very well, why I was so torn up inside. I tended to blame it on the aftershocks of the divorce piled up on top of an already weak foundation of incredibly low self-esteem. And the near-fruitless attempts at needing, damn near begging, to be loved by my father and by the only other man in my life whose love actually mattered to me at the time. I did my best to forget, to push the pain away, with Coronas and limes and salt-rimmed glasses, with bottles of wine on Tuesday nights, with hangover-cure-brunches, with Tinder dates, with the meeting of boys in dark bars with shots of tequila, and with flights to international destinations. How can you be sad when there’s so much fun to be had in the world?
I can tell you it is possible, friends. It is possible to have everything that you feel would make a good life, and still be unhappy. It is possible because, at the end of the day, you can have everything you ever dreamed of, but if you don’t love yourself it doesn’t make a damn bit of difference.
I did not love myself. It’s not an original story, by any means. I, like so many others, placed my self-worth in the hands of people that had no business keeping it, people that had no idea HOW to nurture it or appreciate it, people that didn’t really care TO nurture it or appreciate it.
I’ve done my best over the last four months to correct that major flaw in my personal decision-making process, and I can’t tell you the difference it’s made in how I now value myself. I’m sitting here this very minute with a giant smile on my face, and with an amazing plan for my life. I’m sixty pounds lighter, too, but it’s not just the physical weight that has left my body, but a great deal of emotional weight, as well.
New journeys can come at us fast, but as long we’re open and ready to make changes, there’s no reason to be afraid of the places they’ll take us. I, for one, am so immensely ready for what lies ahead.